Zen and the Art of Dog

The Cost of Owning a Dog

Today we are going to share the amount we spent on our 3 dogs in the past year. We wanted to share what our costs are to give you an idea of what to expect when adding a dog to your family. Some things to keep in mind when looking at these dollar amounts:

-These costs obviously fluctuate and rise with inflation. We rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

-This is a no frills accounting of what we spent. We did not include one off purchases for things like toys, shampoo, crates, beds, collars, leashes, etc.

-We live in Chicago so vetting costs might be more or less than in your area. 

-We buy a lot of items in large quantities since we have 3 large dogs so there is a slight discount for bulk ordering. 

-Our three dogs are:
Denver – husky mix, 7.5 years old, ~60 poundsChloe – pitbull, 7.5 years old, ~50 pounds
Benji – super mutt, 5 years old, ~65 pounds

Denver was an owner surrender, so we know his birthday/age but the other two are just estimates by the shelter/vet. Our three dogs are also healthy and do not require special medications.

Vetting (combined for all 3 dogs)

Annual Exams – $120 

Rabies Vaccines – 3 yr – $126

Cook County Rabies Tags – 3 yr – $54

Distemper/Parvo/Leptospirosis Vaccines – Annual – $105

Bordetella Vaccines – Annual – $105

Heartworm Tests – $120

Total Vetting Cost – $630

Preventative Medications 

Heartworm x 12 months x 3 dogs – $240

Flea and Tick Prevention x 12 months x 3 dogs- $390

Total Preventative Medications Cost – $630

Food & Treats

30lb bag of dog food x 1.5 bags per month x 12 months x $56 – $1,008

10lb box of rawhide x 12 months – $648

Total Food & Treats Cost – $1,656

Total Annual Cost $2,916

Other costs to consider for your annual dog budget: medications to treat an illness or condition, special dog food, professional grooming, dog walker, boarding/pet sitter, flying with your dog. You might also consider pet insurance. Check out this wonderful guide from Consumers Advocate to buying pet insurance!

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